Volunteer of the Week: Carol Sowinski, of Sister Lakes

Volunteers of the week Angelina Ochoa, 12, and grandmother Carol Sowinski, 70, both of Sister Lakes, volunteer regularly at Hidden Acres Farm in Dowagiac, along with Ochoa’s brother Anthony.

What do you do at Hidden Acres?

Ochoa: We clean bunny cages, we feed the animals and we rescue animals.

Sowinski: We even pick up horse poop, if we are needed to. And [Ochoa] was in the [Under the Harvest Moon festival] parade last Saturday to help out. And we will be at Hidden Acres [on Saturday, Oct. 20] to volunteer with the trunk or treat they are having. Also, we right now are babysitting kittens from the farm until they get a little bit bigger.

How did you get started doing that?

Sowinski: Last spring. I was always hoping to find a farm where the kids to learn to feed the animals and to be responsible with them, and I also just love farms. So, this all just fell into place.

Why do you like volunteering at Hidden Acres?

Ochoa: I like playing with the animals and helping [co-owner of the farm Dawn East] out. My favorite part is riding horses.

Sowinski: I love all the things. I love the feeding, and I don’t even mind clean the cages. And I just love grooming the horses.

Do you plan to continue volunteering at Hidden Acres?

Ochoa: Yes.

Sowinski: Oh, absolutely.

Why is volunteering important to you?

Sowinski: Gia is also in the Girl Scouts, so she knows that it is important to volunteer and to do things. When she gets closer to college, they will ask her if she has ever donated time to any place. This is a great start for these guys. It shows that she cares about things.

Ochoa: I think it is fun and good for other people.

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